A Croatian Wedding With A Difference

Last Wednesday we flew out to Croatia, to the Old Town area of Dubrovnik, to provide the sound track to the day for Natasha and Brett, the new Mr and Mrs Ince.

We offered to play stripped back… purely acoustic, adding to the vibe of the day, which was laid back, relaxed with a real summery feel.

 

Planning a wedding anywhere in the world can be a stressful experience, but Natasha and Brett were fortunate to instruct Iva Hrdlicka from dubrovnikevent.com one of Croatia’s top Events Designers to help plan the day. We liaised with Iva over email and the phone. The simplicity of our acoustic package meant we could fulfil the needs of our bride and groom- to be ‘on hand’ all day, providing live music at any point, either indoors or outside. Iva was fantastic at precision planning the logistics for the day and gave us complete confidence to know the proceedings would run smoothly, providing us with accurate details in the lead up to the wedding, when we were over 1500 miles away.

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Dubrovnik Old Town at dusk

 

We arrived in Dubrovnic the day before the wedding, giving us the chance to immediately make a reconnaissance of  the venue. It became easy to see why Natasha and Brett chose Dubrovnik for their wedding location. As the temperature soared to 30 degrees, we got see the town in all its splendour. A short walk from the venue we headed down the narrow streets towards the pedestrianised Stradun where the pavements shone bright in the sun, polished to a smooth finish from the constant movement of the many tourists. A joyous vibrancy of all kinds of art forms and culture met you at every turn, from art galleries and museums to open air music and theatre.

The streets were lined with shops and restaurants, architecture, a mix of Renaissance and Baroque. The jewel of the town though was without doubt was Sponza Palace, where we were to be performing during the wedding ceremony.

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Sponza Palace, where Rock My Reception performed for the wedding ceremony

 

Come the big day we made our way to the open air hall of Sponza Palace for the ceremony. We had been asked to accompany one of Natasha’s friends, Carly, in a rendition of ‘This Is Us’ by Keisha Cole. With a quick rehearsal in one of the Palaces side rooms, we had the song in the bag with no problems. We accompanied a local pianist and cellist for the Brides entrance song. The ceremony couldn’t have been more perfect. Natasha looked stunning in her dress and a beautiful reading from Natasha’s sister, Lexi: a lovely touch to the ceremony. For the recessional piece Natasha had asked us to perform ‘Adorn You’ by Miguel.

We took requests and chatted to the guests during the drinks reception in the open air courtyard of the palace, the acoustic guitars and vocals echoing off the limestone walls into the open warm air above us, setting the tone for the day.

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Aboard the cruise, taking requests from wedding guests

 

We followed the wedding party through the picturesque streets as the sun blazed down from the glorious blue sky. We boarded the boat which was to take guests on a cruise of the Dubrovnik coastline. Positioning ourselves at the bow of the boat we did suddenly feel ourselves reminiscent of Duran Duran’s ‘Rio’ video!

 

There are certain stand out moments which occur in your life and this, for us, was certainly one of those: taking requests from a bride and groom and their guests, playing on board a boat sailing on the clear blue Adriatic Sea. As we past the picturesque coves and beeches, the music and atmosphere carried across the water as sun bathers and tourists clapped and cheered the newly weds as we passed by.

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Grand Villa Argentina for the Champagne drinks reception

 

The evening reception was held at the Grand Villa Argentina, a Twentieth century mansion, positioned on the edge of the cliff overlooking the Adriatic. We played in the garden alongside the private beech and saltwater pool for the Champagne welcome drinks. As the sun set in the West over the sea, the newly weds were showered in confetti as we the guests joined in our acoustic version of Teenage Wedding by Chuck Berry.

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Personalised confetti

 

Iva, Marin and the staff at the Grand Villa Argentina were incredibly friendly and helpful, guiding us to where we would need to be for the various parts of the proceedings for the commencing evening reception.

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Pictured with Kristian Thomas the Olympic athlete, Team GB medal winner who was a guest at the wedding

 

As Natasha and Brett where welcomed into the room for the evening, we followed them in playing ‘All You Need Is Love’ as they took to there seats. The speeches followed and on to the wedding meal.

After the meal and toasts Natasha had a surprise for all the guests. The lyrics to Queens Bohemien Rhapsody were handed out to everyone, we had been previously briefed to play along with the track as all the guests stood up on there seats for a sing along, climaxing in an air guitar solo by all the groomsmen! The staff and waiters all spontaneously joined in… an absolutely fantastic way to end our day.

 

It was a joyous experience to play for Natasha and Brett. Not only was it a pleasure for us to perform at one of the most stunningly beautiful locations, but the whole party embraced the day with such gusto.

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Pictured with the happy couple!

 

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Brett and Natasha for booking Rock My Reception for their wedding and wish them both a long and very happy future together.

The Lose Hill Hotel, Derbyshire.

Sunday 29th May 2016

If there’s one thing we’ve learned in the years of playing in Rock My Reception: it certainly improves your geography! During May 2016 we had travelled as far north as Bathgate in Scotland to Cambridgeshire with plenty of weddings at locations in between. For our final engagement of the month we were concluding a three day consecutive weekend of weddings with a full day reception for Jenny and Adrian Chatterton-Whipps in the picturesque setting of the Lose Hill Hotel situated right in the heart of the Derbyshire Peak District.

The Lose Hill Hotel is one the Peak Districts best kept secrets. Hidden at the end of a small and leafy country lane, this 1914 arts and crafts gem has been converted into a luxurious, 23 bedroom hotel and spa. Equidistant from the wonderful villages of Castleton, Edale and Hope, the venue boasts some of the most breathtaking views with its grandiose backdrop of Win Hill.

After the weather so far this year had been somewhat erratic it was anyone’s guess as to what the elements would throw at the proceedings, however as luck would have it, glorious sunshine prevailed and remained for the duration of the day.

As we waited for guests to arrive we chatted to Adrian, who unlike many grooms, seemed completely unfased and relaxed! As the ceremony room was relatively small we played some gentle ballads such as Here Comes The Sun by The Beatles and Your Song by Elton John whilst waiting for the ceremony to proceed, also including some light instrumental music. As Jenny made her magnificent entrance with her father to a recording of Handel’s Water Music no.2.

One of the great features of today’s wedding ceremonies is that, like all other aspects of the day, you pretty much tailor-make the occasion to your own tastes and requirements. This can result in the ceremony having more meaning, warmth and romance. The two beautiful readings from Jenny and Adrian’s guests were are a real case in point.

As the ceremony was brought to a close we struck up with ‘All You Need Is Love’ and the congregation made their way to the Hotel’s gardens for drinks and canapés. We played a selection of requests from guests who were brilliantly forthcoming and suggested songs from Simon and Garfunkel and The Rolling Stones. The whole location leant itself beautifully to the purpose of getting the perfect wedding photographs and special credit must go to Tim Hensel the photographer who’s enthusiasm and warmth really came across when calling and arranging the different guests for group shots. Some of the shots we’ve already seen are incredible and later on in the evening Tim even used smoke bombs to give the Bride and Groom shots are dramatic effect!

Jenny and Adrian had both chosen Coldplay’s Sky Full Of Stars as their first dance to be played acoustically. A brilliant choice for us as we’d never played it as a first dance before and another example of how you can really make elements of your wedding bespoke. Their guests were also some of the most energetic we’ve played to and a real range of ages from children to Grandparents. Rock My Reception also offer a DJ service, which comprised of the final couple of hours of the evening. This is where the couple and their guests get free-reign on the playlist for the night. Big thanks must go particularly to Adrian and to guest, Laura McKeown who provided us with an endless variety of requests ranging from The Killers and Take That to Fat Boy Slim and definitely a first for us: the theme to Baywatch which brought the house down!!!

Inevitably, the time of the night arrived whereby we had to play one more tune before the curfew. It had to be Oasis’s anthemic Don’t Look Back In Anger whereby we went back to acoustic and joined in with the guests gathered in a circle singing wildly all hand in hand. The perfect end to the perfect wedding.

Thank you to all the staff at Lose Hill who were so hard working professional and charming. Tim Hensel of Tim Hensel Photography who was a delight to chat to during our break and most importantly to Adrian and Jenny: thank you so much for your hospitality and for booking us to perform for your wedding day. It was a pleasure and myself and Kieran wish you both our best wishes for a long and happy future together.

dj set

Having Rock My Reception DJ for your wedding couldn’t be easier. Either email us a list of songs to play before the date, or leave it up to us to judge the crowd on the night… and just like out live sets… we always welcome song requests!!!!

 

Here is a typical dj set from Rock My Reception…

 

  1. i gotta feeling, black eyed peas
  2. uptown funk, bruno mars
  3. jump around, house of pain
  4. gangsta trippin, fatboy slim
  5. thriller, michael jackson
  6. walk this way, aerosmith/run dmc
  7. crazy in love, beyonce/jay z
  8. dee lire, groove armada
  9. hips don’t lie, shakira
  10. we don’t speal no Americano
  11. we found love, rhianna
  12. hey ya, out cast
  13. love shack, b52s
  14. yeah, usher
  15. come on Eileen, dexys
  16. ice ice baby, vanilla ice
  17. ebaneezer good, shamen
  18. u can’t touch this, mc hammer
  19. return of the mac, mark morisson
  20. gold digger, kanye west
  21. poker face, lady gaga
  22. buffaloe stance, nenah cherry
  23. I think were alone now, tiffany
  24. abc, jackson 5
  25. relight my fire, take that
  26. wanna dance with somebody, whitney Houston
  27. push it, salt and pepper
  28. sexy and I know it, lmfao
  29. lucky, pharrell
  30. rock dj, robbie Williams
  31. respect, aretha franklin
  32. build me up buttercup
  33. year 2000, pulp
  34. bet you look good on the dance floor, artic monkees
  35. valerie, mark ronson
  36. single ladies, beyonce
  37. its not unusual, tom jones
  38. rock around the clock, bill Hayley
  39. summer of 69, bryan adams
  40. dirty, christina aguelera
  41. rather be, clean bandit
  42. dancing in the moonlight, toploader
  43. lets dance, bowie
  44. let it go, frozen
  45. 9-5, dolly parton
  46. rio, durran durran
  47. little less conversation elvis/jxl
  48. lo, flo rida
  49. love machine, girl aloud
  50. I see you baby, groove amarda
  51. I like the way you move, body rockers
  52. are you gonna be my girl, jet
  53. saturday night, whigfield
  54. kinky afro, happy Mondays
  55. here comes the hotstepper, ina kamozi
  56. you sexy thing, hot chocolate
  57. I am the one and only, Chesney hawkes
  58. don’t feel like dancing, sissor sisters
  59. born slippy, underworld
  60. iggy pop, lust for life
  61. amarillo
  62. little respect, erasure
  63. jess glynn
  64. makes you beautiful 1d
  65. ruby ruby, kaiser chiefs
  66. walking on sunshine, catrina and the waves
  67. right here right now, fatboy slim
  68. maccerena, los del rio
  69. cha cha slide, dj casper
  70. in da club, 50 cent
  71. wake me up, 50 cent
  72. bills, lunch money lewis
  73. moves like hjagger, maroon 5
  74. beat it, Michael Jackson
  75. reach for the stars, s club 7
  76. rock the casbah, the clash
  77. mr Brightside, the killers
  78. i can’t feel my face, the weekend
  79. unberlevable emf
  80. disey, vic reeves
  81. lets get ready to rumble, pj and Duncan
  82. tainted love, soft cell
  83. get jiggy with it, will smith
  84. you got the love, candi staton
  85. let there be love, nat king cole

 

Hafod farm – rock my reception

As we finally reach the tail end of our mammoth summer tour of wedding’s, Rock My Reception returns to one of the first venues we began this epic trip with, back in May at the North Snowdonian venue of Hafod Farm. With it’s stunning scenery, the charm of a tastefully converted 16th century farm buildings along with friendly, hardworking and accommodating staff, Hafod Farm ticks all boxes for the perfect country wedding.

Today we were booked for Anna and Ali’s night reception and had been given a list of songs to choose at our discretion. They had their ceremony earlier that day at a church some 45 minutes away and the afternoon/evening reception was a relaxed occasion befitting the whole ambience of Hafod Farm. A Fish and Chip van supplied some fine food for the guests. Weddings are often a whole day of perfect moments you can capture in photo’s or just simply your minds eye. On our approach to the venue we saw guests chatting happily, bridesmaids running over to stroke an excited dog who was also enjoying the day! The whole relaxed atmosphere as the sun set over the hills of Conwy was one of those very moments you’d want to bottle and keep forever.

Anna and Ali had chosen U2’s ‘One’ as a first dance and because of the local councils insistence on unamplified music we played, literally, unplugged; one of the benefits of being an acoustic outfit. The owners of Haford Farm, Pete and Jo, had worked tirelessly at the venture and were in the process of installing noise limiters to ensure the noise of any entertainment shouldn’t exceed the acceptable levels dictated to by the council. A difficult line to tow when a local farm tries to diversify and provide a profitable local business to the area, yet are faced with the inevitable obstacles. Jo and Pete certainly try their best to placate the council without compromising the enjoyment of the couple and their guests.
On both occasions we have had the pleasure of playing at Hafod Farm the ambience and party atmosphere had always had a campfire-style rustic quality which makes a change from the usual ear-drum bursting beats of a DJ set some weddings opt for.

Not only were Anna and Ali a charming and friendly couple who’s hospitality knew no bounds; we were looked after, fed and watered with abundance! Their guests were also delightfully forthcoming with their song requests and were joyously dancing to our songs.

We’d like to thank Anna, Ali and their guests for being such a delight to play for and also to Jo and Pete for having us play at their wonderful venue.

Harewood House- wedding band Rock My Reception

Harewood House wedding with live acoustic singers rock my reception

One of the questions we often get asked is ‘do you ever play midweek weddings?’, to which the answer would be ‘Yes, of course- we’ll gladly play Monday to Friday!’. Of course the number of bookings we actually get for Monday to Thursday weddings are significantly smaller than Friday to Sunday bookings as they have the obvious benefits of guests not having to work the next day and people generally being able to let their hair down more. However, midweek weddings do have their advantages, particularly when it comes to price reduction and with a bit of forward planning, a good old knees-up can still be had. On Tuesday May 26th 2015 at Harewood House on the outskirts of Leeds was the perfect case in point.

Yes, Tuesday may seem to be an unusual day to have a wedding ceremony and reception, but that didn’t stop the sun from coming out in full strength (weather always being a gamble when booking a wedding). Neither did it stop the staff at Harewood House from pulling out all stops and ensuring everything went running smoothly for the couples big day. We have had the pleasure of playing at a wedding ceremony in the grounds of Harewood House before and on both occasions the sun shone down into the beautiful Grade I listed courtyard making it the perfect setting for guests to enjoy their evening drinks basking in the warmth of the springtime sun. Although having set up our lighting and sound equipment in one of the surrounding banqueting rooms, to play for guests in this majestic backdrop was an opportunity not to be missed, so we set up between some of the courtyards fine Corinthian Columns and played a half hour set while guests chatted and helped themselves to crepes from the vintage crepe van parked at the far side of the courtyard.

It was also a pleasure for us to meet up with a previous Groom who’s wedding reception we had played at in East Keswick, who was here today in the role of wedding film and photographer. As we played in the evening sunlight he’d captured some excellent footage of the children dancing to our rendition of Jessie Jays ‘Price Tag’.

As the sun finally dropped lower onto the horizon we made our way into the banqueting suite: a spacious room complete with original oak beams, capable of accommodating 120 guests and perfect for the evening dance.The first dance chosen was The Waterboys beautiful ‘How long will I love you?’, recently covered by Taylor Swift, as their first dance and the whole floor was filled with guests who joined along in dancing along with them bride and groom, who had also come up the fantastic idea of printing menus with our song lists on so that guests could pick and choose their favourite songs to played and request them to us. We also had the pleasure of one guest coming up to sing with us her beautiful rendition of Elton John’s ‘Your Song’.

We took a brief break for the buffet and played background music from our DJ booth. Very soon we were back on and people were dancing right up until midnight! Some of the guests had even come from as far as Plymouth and were particularly impressed by our Oasis back-catalogue! When asked if we’d like to play at their wedding when they’d set a date we readily agreed and told them that distance was certainly not an issue!

Happy couple and their guests alike, proved that a midweek wedding certainly can be just as romantic and a joyous occasion as any weekend ceremony.

Cubley Hall wedding band Rock My Reception

Rock My Reception live Cubley Hall, Penistone, South Yorkshire.

Being a travelling wedding band we get to see a rich variety of wedding venues around the country, from grand stately homes to the cosy working men’s club function room: we’ve played the lot! We’ve also played them in all seasons this frequently rain-sodden country has to offer, often adapting accordingly, rushing in from the elements to set up and play in the snug warmth for a fireside singalong.

Cubley Hall in Penistone is one of the venues we’ve had the fortune of playing several wedding events throughout the years, although never for an outdoor event. This was to be rectified for the beautifully resplendent summer wedding ceremony of happy couple Mathew and Katie Walker in Cubley Hall’s gardens.

It was Saturday 27th June 2015 and luck was on everyone’s side in Penistone as today it was decreed that the British summer would prove it possible to provide temperatures comparable with the Meditteranian . Although the day started off slightly breezy, Cubley Hall’s grand Garden Pavillion was in readiness for the couple to exchange their vows, already adorned with a beautiful bouquet of flowers. We arranged ourselves at the side of the Pavillion so that we could be heard, but positioned inconspicuously to the side of the proceedings; we always think it important that the main focus of attention, especially for the ceremony, should be the proceedings with the Bride and Groom. We aim to be heard, but our presence, unless requested otherwise, should be on the periphery.

As guests were arriving, we not only played a selection of songs like ‘Here Comes The Sun’ and the requested ‘Songbird’ by Oasis, but also utilised the Ukelele for songs like ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’ and ‘It must be love’. The Ukelele has Hawaiian roots, therefore embellishing the already summery feel to the afternoon. It was now time for Katie to make her grand entrance; and how stunning she looked as she made her way down the lawn towards the Pavillion to the strains of Snow Patrols ‘Chasing Cars’, the backdrop of the scenic Peak District countryside glowing in the sunshine. Being Indie music fans, Mathew and Katie had asked for a rendition of Wonderwall to played as opposed to a formal reading. Many times a song can be just as pertinent and meaningful as a piece of poetry, prose or speech. Say it all with a song.

As the newly wedded Mr and Mrs Walker made their way down the steps of the Pavillion to grab a glass of champagne we played The Stone Roses ‘Sally Cinnamon’, carrying on to play to the guests who were basking in the glorious sunshine and continued to do so whilst Mathew and Katie were driven by the photographer to Langsett Reservoir for some stunning wedding photos to be taken: When gifted with the amazing rolling countryside setting that South Yorkshire has to offer, it’s vital to grab it with both hands!

Note to anyone who, like myself may not have the same follicular coverage as it may have done 20 years earlier, when attending a blistering summer wedding: Wear a hat!

At 4:30pm we all made our way to Cubley Halls barn dining area, complete with stone floors, high ceilings and oak beams. Having both played at this venue in winter and summer months we can say that it is perfect for all seasons: in the winter month’s it is warm, cosy and has a truly festive air about the place. In summer, the barn is well ventilated and not stifling as some venues can be, especially at meal times. Katie and Mathew had even offered us and the photographer a carvery meal which we greatly appreciated after our wedding breakfast set. Katie’s fathers speech was brilliant, warm and he gently poked fun at Mathews support of Barnsley FC! He even thanked us during his speech- completely unexpected, unnecessary but again, appreciated.

As ourselves and Greg the DJ set up for the evening we agreed to play for 2 hours solidly from 8:30pm to 10:30pm a let him take over the DJ set immediately after us. Mathew and Katie took to the floor to play their first dance ‘Everlong’ by The Foofighters. This was the second time we’d played this song as a first dance in a fortnight and I hope we get asked for it again soon as it’s a superb track to play acoustically.

Mathew and Katie’s guests were fantastic and really gave it their all on the dance floor. The atmosphere of the whole day was incredible and all their guests got into the spirit by having their photos taken in the fancy dress van later!

We would both like to take this opportunity to thank Mathew and Katie for asking us to rock their reception and wish them both a great honeymoon and a happy future together as Mr and Mrs Walker.

Bowburn Hall, Rock My Reception wedding band

The latest blog from acoustic wedding band rock my reception and their wedding at Bowburn Hall near Durham:

rock my reception wedding

July 2015 is here. So far the British Summer has been throwing at us temperatures of 36 degrees during the day, and lightning and thunderstorms of biblical proportions at night, in equal measure. For Rock My Reception the wedding season has truly begun, in earnest, as we dart our way up and down the British Isles to play wedding couple up and down the aisles!

Saturday 3rd July saw us at the wedding of Paul and Lindsey at Bowburn Hall just off the A1 in Durham, and with Lindsey’s family being Geordies (Newcastle based) and Paul’s being Mackem’s (from over the water Sunderland) we knew that this was going to be a wedding of good natured banter and a good old knees ‘up!

The wedding venue of Bowburn Hall was an easy drive from York up the A1 and nestles within 5 acres of beautiful landscape gardens. At a distance of only 2.5 miles from Durham City it is one of the areas most intimate and luxurious wedding venues, with several wedding packages on offer. We arrived in plenty of time and set up our speakers in the dining hall for the wedding breakfast set and our instruments outdoors for the wedding ceremony.

The weather outside was perfect and we were greeted by the best man-also called Paul-who had a brilliant idea for us to accompany him in his best man speech; more of which later! The registrar came over to introduce herself and told us she was from Sandal, near Wakefield: just up the road from where myself and Kieran grew up! As guests started making their way to the seating area, we were positioned to the side of the venues beautiful Pavilion where the exchanging of the vows were to take place. At one point the male registrar moved his desk into a more shaded area, revealing the female registrars handbag.
One of the guests shouted, “Oi mate, you’ve forgotten your handbag”
To which he replied, “Nah not mine- wrong Colour!”

Lindsey and Paul had chosen a great selection of Indie titles to be played for their ceremony. As musicians who grew up with the sounds of the 90’s bands ringing from our stereo’s it’s always a pleasure to play the music of our youth, especially when it’s the more obscure titles. In this case we had been requested ‘This is the one’ by The Stone Roses, Kodalines ‘The One’ and ‘Gravity’ by Embrace, ending by playing the happy couple down the aisle to The Cures ‘Fridays I’m in love’.

After we had played the ceremony we played a drinks reception in the sun drenched gardens of Bowburn Hall. Soon after, it was time for the wedding breakfast and speeches. As a break from tradition, instead of the usual Beatles ‘All you need is love’ to play as the couple are announced to take their seats for the wedding breakfast, Lindsey had specifically requested us to play Beyonce’s ‘Crazy right now’ which was a fun choice and certainly a first for us! I can honestly say everyone’s speeches were perfect and reduced the room to tears; especially brides father, Con, who brilliantly, and unintentionally, made a Freudian Slip when naming incorrectly one of the bridesmaids;

“Thankyou to Emma..”
“It’s ‘Gemma'”
“Oh sorry Gemma- I must’ve had my finger on your G”

Cue hysterical laughter and schoolboy giggling!

Paul described how he and Lindsay had met in Arizona: Newcastle’s finest nightclub! Best man, Paul also delivered a pitch perfect speech where he’d previously asked us to launch into the Righteous Brothers famous Top Gun hit ‘You’ve lost that loving feeling’ which worked brilliantly-especially when his girlfriend joined in!

Not only were treated by Paul and Lindsey to sample the fine food of Bowburn Hall, but their guests were so friendly, forthcoming and kept us on our toes with requests. We knew that the evening reception was going to be a great night as everyone joined Lindsey and Paul for their first dance song, Deacon Blue’s beautiful ‘Dignity’. Not only did everyone get up dancing, but they also knew all the words! And it didn’t stop there: guests stayed on the dance floor for the duration of our first set asking for requests-particularly from the 80’s. We eagerly obliged with tracks like Human League’s ‘Don’t you want me baby’ and Spandau Ballets ‘Gold’. The first set had gone amazingly well and the DJ had taken over whilst the buffet was being served. During the break I had the pleasure of chatting one guest who explained that he loved playing the guitar and that he’d love to play on stage but didn’t want to sing. I suggested to him that perhaps he could find someone who had an equal yearning for singing and maybe they could join forces and take to the stage together to play a few songs in one of Newcastle’s music venues.

Taking over for a second set after a DJ can sometimes be a difficult task as the drop in volume to acoustic guitars can be noticeable after the heavy bass and beats from a DJ set. However, there were no worries where Paul, Lindsey and their guests were concerned as they all flocked back to the dance floor and we had the pleasure of playing one of the very best evening sets we’ve had the pleasure to play. We even managed to get some footage of the proceedings and were asked for an enchore, as we played Hey Jude, 500 Miles and Dignity again, to equal delight from the audience.

It was a real pleasure to play for Paul, Lindsey and their guests that Saturday in July. We honestly could have carried on partying with everyone for the entire evening. It was a perfect wedding in so many ways and we wish Paul and Lindsey both a very happy future together.

Crow Hill Marsden- rock my reception

Rock My Reception are the perfect band for a sound restricted venue, as tour latest blog from Crow Hill, Marden points out…

It’s Saturday 18th July 2015 and 30 years ago a 7 year old me was watching Live Aid on BBC 1 wearing my Spider-Man t-shirt, taking all the rock ‘n’ roll malarkey in!

30 years on and myself and Kieran’s apprenticeship in bands had been served long ago, quite fittingly through playing many gigs in the village of Marsden; and it was here that we were that we were booked to play the prestigious Crow Hill wedding venue.

This was to be our third outing at Crow Hill and today would see us play a drinks reception, wedding breakfast and first dance. We arrived in plenty of time to set up before the happily wedded couple Hayley and Ben, plus their guests made their entrance.

As quite often the case this year, we were lucky with the weather and so being, were able to set up under the venues China Hat open sided Marquee and play to guests for the champagne reception. We weren’t short of requests from the enthusiastic audience, including Rod Stewart favourites ‘Maggie May’ and ‘Handbags and Gladrags’. Other songs requested were hits from Shed 7, The Smiths and ‘She will be loved’ by Maroon 5. It’s always great for musicians to play in the outdoors as you get to fill your lungs full of air, plus it’s great to take in the scenery, particularly of the National Trust Marsden Moor Estate.

After a couple of hours the guests made their way into the marquee which was at its maximum seating capacity of 150 guests. This was a great gathering of family and friends and we played Hayley and Ben to their seats with a rousing chorus of ‘All you need is love’. Throughout the wedding breakfast we played a selection of wedding classics, such as Bruno Mars ‘I’m Yours’ and Jason Mraz, to which we even got a round of applause while guests were eating. This was especially kind and also greatly appreciated as we always maintain that during the wedding breakfast our intention is to play quiet background music- so a big thank you to Ben and Hayley’s guests and glad you enjoyed!

While the wedding speeches were underway we were kindly brought a meal by Crow Hill’s staff and excellent food it was too. The staff then quickly turned around the room for the cutting of the cake and the first dance. Hayley and Ben had asked for George Ezra’s ‘Budapest’- a particular favourite of mine and we were delighted by how many guests joined them on the dancefloor. We continued to play up until 9 o’clock when the DJ took over for the evening. Hayley and Ben’s wedding was so well attended with a great age group mixture and everyone really embraced the day.

It was a total joy for us to be part of Hayley and Ben’s day and would like to not only thank them for booking our services that July day in 2015, but to also wish them a very happy future together.

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Polhawn Fort Wedding Band- Rock My Reception

Polhawn Fort in Rame near Plymouth is the setting for acoustic band Rock My Reception’s blog…

It’s the tail end of July 2015 and Rock My Reception has been brought to one of the most scenic and cinematic locations Britain has to offer, for this was the wedding of Steph and Jamie at Polhawn Fort, a deeply romantic and historic Napoleonic Fort situated on the coastal region of Rame in Cornwall.

Being from Yorkshire both myself and Kieran have already been spoilt by some of the most beautiful countryside views this island has to offer, however the South-West has it’s own unique splendor which is magnified during the summer period. Indeed today the weather is a scorcher and what with the breathtaking clear blue seascape and palm trees nestling amongst the greenery these tell-tale signs remind you just how closer you are to the equator.

Infact, it was not only ourselves who had travelled down from the North to be here, but most of Steph and Jamie’s family and friends had made the journey from Cheshire and North Wales also. The payoff for the long journey was apparent as soon we arrived; this was a perfect venue for a wedding party and as close to a luxury foreign location as you could get. Sun, sea and a beautiful vista stretching out for miles.

Upon our arrival we first made our way down a granite spiral staircase from the fort down to The Garden House where the ceremony was about to take place. As guests began to take their places we seated ourselves to the side of the proceedings to play our chosen pieces. Steph had liaised with Kieran in the previous weeks and decided on our acoustic version of Christina Perry’s ‘Thousand Years’ for her grand entrance, Ed Sheeran’s ‘Tenerife Sea’ and Jack Johnson’s ‘Better Together’ for the signing of the register. Fine choices and Jamie and Steph even danced down the aisle to our rendition of The Imagine Dragons’ ‘On top of the world’ which was lovely to see a couple looking so relaxed and we could tell immediately that they were both into their music, as were the guests.

We then made our way back up the granite stairs to the roof area of the fort to play a selection of requests for guests ranging from Bowie to Oasis. Whilst we played the guests chatted and were served champagne, fresh ice creams and freshly baked scones in the Mediterranean-like sunshine. The sea-gulls circling high above could only have been watching the proceedings with sheer envy!

Just prior to the wedding breakfast function in the Marquee we were all invited to join Steph and Jamie on the forts private beach, a short walk down a winding path along the cliff side. The guests joined in the fun and frolics rolling up their trousers and finery for a paddle in the sea whilst we provided a soundtrack of sea related tunes like The Beatles ‘Octopuses Garden’ and Rod Stewarts ‘We are sailing’!

At first Jamie and Steph were about to take to their seats without a formal introduction, however Kieran suggested the idea of announcing the couple and acquired a gong from the staff to grab everyone’s attention as I sang ‘All you need is love’ as they made their way to the head table. Obviously we never want to be obtrusive and detract in any way from the couples big day, however if we can provide any extra touches to embellish the day we will certainly always do our best to seize an opportunity.

The speeches were not only warm, hilarious and filled with anecdotes from their first date at the cinema through to their time at uni together. As the meals were presented to the guests we started getting more and more requests and got everyone singing along to ‘Brown eyed girl’ and ‘Sweet Caroline’. One guest even remarked ‘I don’t know how you both know so many songs; you’re like a fleshy jukebox!’ This is one of the most brilliant descriptions of us I’ve ever heard and may use that on my passport!!

Time was ticking on and the scorching weather was dying down to a more comfortable warm breeze. We carried on till 8pm more than happily taking requests from the guests who had been so kind as to keep bringing us glasses of water and Steph even invited us to grab some tea from the buffet. Another magical point of the evening occurred when Dolphins were spotted in the sea giving an impromptu performance to the gathered spectators. Not many couples can claim to have had Dolphins at their reception!

One superb wedding supplier who definitely shouldn’t go without a mention is that of Christian Michael, the photographer who took some masterfully epic photos that day. As an extra treat for Jamie and Steph we asked them if they would once more like to be accompanied to the beach for a final soirée as the sun was going down. They both agreed so ourselves and a handful of guests made our way to the beach which looked majestic in the warm orange glow of the sun sinking into the horizon. Christian, effortlessly set up the cameras tripod in readiness to capture the moment of the sun going down with Jamie, Steph along with friends posing for some of the most priceless shots we’ve ever seen- we were also invited to join them for a couple of shots as we sang ‘Hey Jude’ into Elbow’s ‘One day like this’. A truly memorable moment and we honoured to be a part of it.

As a farewell to Steph and Jamie and their guests we finally played the Proclaimers ‘500 Miles’ as we marched up the steep pathway back to the Forts Garden Lawn: a certain test of endurance for all!!

We were so thrilled to be a part of Steph and Jamie’s wedding on what was such a perfect day from start to finish. Rock My Reception would like to take this opportunity to wish them both, and their family and friends, all the very best for a happy future.

St. Mellions, Cornwall

Another blog from Rock My Reception acoustic wedding singers playing at St. Mellions in Cornwall.

As many wedding couples will undoubtedly know, the preparations and planning for a wedding day can sometimes begin well over a year before the big day itself and in the case of Janice and Nic, they first booked Rock My Reception to play at their wedding way back in October 2013. As Chaucer’s quote quite rightly states ‘Time and tide wait for no man’ and low and behold Saturday 13th June 2015 was upon us. Continue reading